The Magnificent Gullfoss Waterfall | Iceland

Since 2014, the Gullfoss Waterfall has been in my top 3 favorite natural landmarks that God has created, narrowly beaten out by the Northern Lights. “Gullfoss” means “golden falls;” this name given because the sediment in the water gives it a golden color when the sun shines on it. This two-tiered waterfall is a total of 105 ft (32 m) tall in height. The upper waterfall drops 3 ft (11 m), while the lower waterfall drops 69 ft (21 m). You can find this gorgeous waterfall about 70 miles (113 km) outside of the capital Reykjavik. Gullfoss flows from the Hvita (white) river and originates from Langjokull, which is Iceland’s second biggest glacier.

I visited Iceland in January of 2014, and though it was cold, the wintery wonderland just added to the pure beauty of this magnificent waterfall. I had taken a few pictures of Gullfoss waterfall, but spent most of my time in awe and admiring the popular golden falls of Iceland. I’ve loved waterfalls after first seeing them in Yosemite National Park in the 2001.

Gullfoss Waterfall | Iceland | Miranda Knudtson

History or Legend?

There is a pretty interesting story behind the Gullfoss waterfall, but whether it’s factual history or simply a legend is still debatable. In the early 20th century, there was considerable talk on whether to utilize Gullfoss to harness electricity. Building a hydroelectric power plant would have forever wrecked Gullfoss.

As legend states, Sigríður Tómasdóttir saved the Gullfoss waterfall. She protested and threatened to throw herself into the waterfall to kill herself. She marched from Gullfoss waterfall to Reykjavik completely barefoot, which is a total of 75 miles (120 km). With bloodied and torn up feet, the people finally believed her.

Gullfoss Waterfall | Iceland


Where have you visited that has left you completely speechless and in awe? This is what Gullfoss did for me, along with the beautiful country as a whole.

Gullfoss Waterfall in Iceland. See beautiful pictures of the waterfall in winter and learn a legend surrounding the falls.


  1. Beautiful place. I can believe it would leave you in awe. It doesn’t take much to impress me. I’m in awe pretty much overtime on a plane and look down at the clouds and scenery below :-).

  2. Gullfoss really is a bucket list site in Iceland it seems. I love the legend behind it. Doesn’t it just add to the mystery and drama of the place. One of many amazing must see places in Iceland I can imagine.

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